Developers: Trash Your Resumes

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Last week we wrote about whether a college degree is a necessity for a developer in today’s market. We came to the conclusion that what you can do is more important than how many framed diplomas you can hang on the wall, and the most important thing you can to do make yourself hireable as a developer is to code, early and often. Naturally, this raises the question: How do I show employers what I can do? A traditional resume has been the standard, and it’s been accepted for some time that for developers, it’s simply not the best format for presenting your career and qualifications. We’re not going to tell you how to rewrite your resume today. That’s been covered (one example is this Slideshare deck from a tech recruiter; if you have time to look through 75 slides, they’re definitely worth the read. But that’s not what this article is about, so do that later, ok?). This article is about replacing the resume all together, and showing your story rather than telling it.


LinkedIn offered a new way to present your story, but it wasn’t built specifically for developers; in fact, we know many developers hate LinkedIn, and while it may have revolutionized job seeking for a lot of people, we don’t think LinkedIn is the best place for developers to job search.

Stack Overflow Jobs

At Stack Overflow Jobs, the developers are in control of the job seeking process. No spam, no BS. We even penalize blind messaging by employers, and do everything in our power to protect you from recruiters and unsolicited nonsense — all the stuff you hate about LinkedIn. Stack Overflow Jobs is already the best place to look for new opportunities, but you’re still stuck with that old traditional resume or your LinkedIn profile. This is why Stack Overflow has just launched Developer Story, the evolved tech resume for developers and only developers. Stack Overflow has one laser-focused purpose, and that is to make the world a better place for developers to do their work. We do that through our Q&A sites, through Documentation, through our Jobs board, and now through Developer Story. Get yours now at s.tk/story.

Your Developer Story is your resume, leveled-up

It’s the best way to share whatever you’re proud of, whatever you’ve done and whatever you can do. It’s how you show, rather than tell, employers what you’re all about. A traditional resume is a dead document, a list of titles and dates and schools and skills that frankly, no matter what you do, ends up looking exactly like 10,000 other people’s lists of titles and dates and schools and skills. Developers are makers, and your work is alive and evolving. You create things, and it’s difficult to convey that kind of work in a list of bullet points. With Developer Story, we’re offering you a platform that can handle all your titles and dates and schools and skills… and present them in a way that’s living, dynamic, and unique. It’s your story, and now you have a place to tell it the way you want it told. Developer Story lets you put your accomplishments in a timeline form that doesn’t just tell people what you did, it shows them. You can add links to public code, blog posts, and the actual apps and features you’ve built. It elevates the work you’ve done and are doing to where it belongs, front and center. Because the work is what makes you a great developer, a developer companies want to hire. This is what differentiates you from those other 10,000 schmucks still emailing out their PDF resumes and hoping for the best.

Don’t employers want keywords and titles and years of experience?

Employers have accepted the limitations of the resume. They’ve accepted that all they’re going to get from an applicant is a list of roles, schools, and keywords, and so they frame their job postings around “six years of JavaScript experience” and other meaningless markers to help them decide who to interview. But just because it's an accepted norm doesn't mean it's the best way. What if you could transcend the job post? What if you could give them more? As we blogged about last week, employers care about your work more than any other thing on your resume. They care about your work more than they care about your degree, your school, your years of experience, or the fact that you were the captain of your high school debate team. With your Developer Story, you can finally give them that. So the first thing they see is what you can do for them, and what you have already done. Here’s what Developer Story looks like before you’ve filled anything out:

And here’s what it looks like when it’s live:

Front and center is your tech stack, your GitHub link, and even a place to put the technologies or languages you prefer NOT to work in. After that, you control what goes where. Add roles, blog posts, videos, open source work, features and apps, education, certifications, and even your Stack Overflow rep.

Stack Overflow is in a unique position to empower developers in their job searches and career development. If you’ve been active on Stack Overflow, you can use that activity to help tell your story. Top answers show expertise, and reputation points show the community trusts you. Who wouldn’t want to work with somebody like that? No Stack Overflow rep to show off? That’s fine, too. It’s your Developer Story and you can focus on whatever aspect of your work and activities you’re most proud of. You don’t have to be a Gold-Badged Stack Overflow user to look good in your Developer Story. It’s here to make every developer look good, in your own way, on your own terms.


Yes, you can trash your resume. But that’s only because it’s going to evolve into something greater. Developer Story is backwards-compatible with that dusty old PDF. You’re in control, so if you want to highlight your titles, dates, schools, and skills, more power to you. You worked hard for that fancy degree, so show it off. But now you can do that and much, much more.

I like my job

That’s awesome. We want all developers to like their jobs. We want you to love your job! So if you really have no interest in job-hunting, what does a Developer Story do for you? Developer Story has been built so you can use it as a portfolio, a showcase, and a general home base for all your code and all your accomplishments. Set your job match preferences to “not interested,” and we won’t bug you, we’ll just let you build something you’re proud to show off and leave it at that.

If you are interested, though, we’re the place developers come to put out the feelers and start looking for opportunities. Nobody will ever spam you or flood your inbox with recruiter messages and irrelevant job posts. Remember that laser-focused purpose? We’re here for you, the developer, to make your life better. So if you do indicate interest in hearing about new opportunities, you’ll only hear about the very best opportunities that match your goals.

Once your Developer Story is beautiful, let’s work on your wardrobe.

We think one of the best ways to inspire other devs is by sharing some of the awesome stuff their peers are building. Or by showing a curious twelve-year-old what someone else who loves breaking machines can grow up to be. So, for the next two weeks, if you...

  • Tweet a link to your developer story, and
  • Include the #mydevstory hashtag,

...we’ll enter in you in a contest to win one of two hundred gen-u-ine Stack Overflow tees. (50 men’s and 50 women’s shirts each week.) Take a minute to start your story now.

Login with your stackoverflow.com account to take part in the discussion.